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Thompson the Tone Setter

Say this for Fred Thompson's strategy of not appearing in debates up until today: It's allowing him to get the first response in on many of the most important questions of the debate.

Since most viewers are interested in hearing from Thompson, he is getting lots and lots of questions and often setting the tone for the responses that follow.

Take Social Security's long-term solvency, an issue on which moderator Maria Bartiromo said Thompson was one of the few candidates offering specific solutions.

Thompson used the question to return to his larger theme for the debate -- things are OK now but we are walking a dangerous line for our future. "We are eating our seed corn, we are spending their money," Thompson said. "We're better than that."

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 9, 2007; 5:29 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: Union Yes!

Comments

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Posted by: fwbxgzkre xolumke | August 18, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: vfqinbw jigaulbvf | August 18, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Paul S.

While it's possible you are joking, I think it more likely that you probably actually believe that.

Did I write anything attacking people for being "bad" if they are Democrats?

The problem with bitter partisanship is that you assume that if you dislike a particular politician or policy, that everyone who is a part of, or identifies with that party is bad.

I identify as a Republican. I donate to charity, served my country in the USMC, work my butt of to continue to protect this country in the Intelligence community, and spend as much time as I can with my wife and kids. I try to be kind to my fellow human beings, I stop to help people change tires or to administer first aid at accidents. I go to church, pray for people I have never met, and try to leave the world a better place each day than I found it when I woke up.

Am I a bad person simply because we have different views? I don't think people are "bad" because they support abortion rights or homosexual marriage. I disagree with them, strongly, but I know intelligent people can disagree about complex subjects.

I don't think people are unpatriotic for wanting an end to war, or stupid or bad for opposing the president on the war, but I think they are wrong, and am willing to explain my position.

I prefer to try and explain why I think my views are correct, while taking the time to actually listen and consider the points of others.

I suggest everyone out there take a moment to think about whether you really think everyone you identify as an "Evil Republican" or a "Nasty Democrat" is really as bad as all that, or simply someone who passionately believes something you don't.

I'd be willing to bet that most democrats are people I'd be happy to call friends. Heck, most of co-workers are Dem's. I don't try to tell them they are wrong to be Dem's, but I try to explain why I feel the way I do on issues where I think there is room for more understanding - Like Iraq.

Next time you post about something you disagree with, try describing what you disagree with instead of describing the person as a Democrat or a Republican.

Posted by: Ben | October 10, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

But Ben, everything Republican really IS bad!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 10, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I thought Thompson was really dissapointing. He looked nervous and sometimes didn't answer the question that was asked, instead branching out with a confusing response to about an only slightly related area.

He definatly could have used the practice that the other candidates enjoyed in the previous 6 debates. Romney looked strong and had his best debate by far. Giuliani, Huckabee, Ron Paul were pretty sharp and did a good job expressing their views. McCain stuck to his strait talking, tell it like it is without emotion approach--we'll see if it works.

Posted by: Paul S. | October 10, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm beginning to wonder if the majority of Post bloggers even bothered to watch the debate, or just jumped on here to blast your "Everything Republican is bad" typical rant.

The idea behind lower taxes and less government is that the federal government is making decisions for the states that the states could better make for themselves.

"No Child" is a mess. The Federal Govt would be better of letting the states define their standards and letting the states decide where to best spend that money. If a state does a poor job at it, folks will start moving away to states with better education. The federal government is not the most effective or efficient way to accomplish most things that government must do. It should stick to national defense and supporting the states in Emergencies.

And if you think withdrawing from Iraq is the correct choice, I hope you enjoy $10 a gallon gas when Iran and Saudi Arabia go to town over the dying remnants of the Iraqi government. If you think that's only money in your pocket, think about the domino effect. Super High Gas prices and shortages mean layoffs, reduced production, produce rotting before it gets to stores, and all out DEPRESSION.

Take the time to look at the consequences of what you are asking for. Bush made a bunch of BIG mistakes early on and for a long while in Iraq, I won't argue that. But that has nothing to do with what we do now, and pulling out would be a DISASTER of the first order for this country.

Posted by: Ben | October 10, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

What a tired old hack. Looks like he's near death. Who's going to respond the drivel coming out of these guys? (lower taxes, less government, blah blah blah). Hey people, we need taxes to make sure our bridges don't fall down. We need regulation to keep lunatics from buying guns in Virgina and banks from lending money to people who can't pay it back. If you don't want to pay taxes but still want services and the occassional foreign war be prepared to go hat in hand the the Chinese.

Posted by: jean claude dehmel | October 9, 2007 9:40 PM | Report abuse

How many times have we heard the same rhetoric from these guys. They would do away with unions the first chance they got.
But they need the votes, so they have to lie like they're all for them. What a joke!
Where was that blind-sided question like the one pulled on Hillary? I guess Chris has more class than Tim Russert.

Posted by: jime | October 9, 2007 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Watching them all was like looking into a little, plastic container of earthworms fighting for their lives. Which ever one of these opportunitic invertibrates winds up with their party's nomination will unfortunately then have to face a healthy and hungry fish.

Posted by: binkynh | October 9, 2007 7:48 PM | Report abuse

"Dead Thompson" was horrible. Asked about Social Security solvency, he showed that he did not know what he was talking about by saying that if nothing is done to reform the system, beneficiaries will receive nothing (but, according to even the most pessimistic White House predictions, Social Security will be able to pay out 75% of benefits to beneficiaries once it becomes insolvent), and by offering his solution to the problem - "progressive indexing" - which, oddly enough, will pay out LESS in future beneficiaries than if NOTHING is done to reform the system.

Dead Thompson... dead campaign, dead presentation, dead ideas.

Posted by: mikebythesun | October 9, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

The sixth Republican debate kicked off Tuesday in Dearborn, Mich., with nine GOP presidential hopefuls taking the stage.

Who do you think won the Dearborn, Michigan MSNBC News Republican debate?

------------> http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=671

.

Posted by: PollM | October 9, 2007 6:27 PM | Report abuse

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_100907/content/01125115.guest.html

"RUSH: We're going to go back to October 27th in Oxford, Mississippi, University of Mississippi. There was a forum with Senator Trent Lott and Senator Tom Daschle, and the title of the forum was Senate Leaders Working Together -- which always leads to Republicans losing. They didn't call it that. I added it. Here's a portion of Senator Lott's remarks about his support of the amnesty bill.

LOTT: I learned a lesson. I got clobbered, by name! Some of my close friends, Rush Limbaugh and they really worked me over really good, and then I wandered out into the hall in front of the Senate chamber. Tom and I tripped into that before, and I said something to the fact that we've gotta do something about this talk radio problem. Man, my phones were jammed! (laughter) What did I mean? I had two threats to take me out completely, one of which we turned over to the FBI.

RUSH: (Laughing.) Oh, I love people that remind people how many death threats they get! Here's the second bite, another portion of Senator Lott's remarks.

LOTT: What I was trying to say, though, was, they were not telling the story as I viewed it, and I thought we needed to do something about talk radio by talking to them and explaining what we were trying to do. We came out and said, "We have a grand compromise." I think that's what we called it, grand solution, Republicans and Democrats, moderates, conservatives, liberals. "We got a deal," and then we went home to celebrate, but we didn't bother to say what was in it. Rush Limbaugh said, "This is amnesty." We were dead at that moment, because they had a one-word bumper sticker, "amnesty," and we had a six-paragraph explanation. We got killed. So talk radio has a real impact, and I think they have a role. I would never be a part of trying to shut up either side. This is America. We do have free speech. Everybody is entitled to their point of view.
"

g

Posted by: rufus | October 9, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

What did Thompson due on this extended vacation, while the others were on the campaign trail? He sounded like a bufoon and his jacket didn't fit right!

Posted by: Bill | October 9, 2007 5:47 PM | Report abuse

"CALLER: Last week, when Harry Reid took you out of context, my nine-year-old screamed from his 360, "That's not what Rush said." My nine-year-old knew how to put you in context."

Posted by: I fear for the gop children | October 9, 2007 05:28 PM

Posted by: rufus | October 9, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

A bit of an uptick for FT...

Posted by: Mark in Austin | October 9, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

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